LET'S PLAY TWO, TIGER: Tiger Woods announced that he will be competing in this week's Quail Hollow Championship as well as next week's Players Championship. It will be the first time he's played back-to-back PGA Tour since March, 2008.
This will also be the first time we've seen Tiger since he tied for sixth at the Masters. Except for his press conference last Monday to promote his AT&T National, and his meeting that same day with President Obama, and his court-side appearance at an Orlando Magic playoff game. As wonderful as it is to be at home with the kids, it's nice to get out of the house every now and again. But instead of a Friday night out with the wife at Chili's, Tiger hangs out at the White House with the President.
CAN'T BE STARED DOWN: Lorena Ochoa successfully defended her title at the Corona Championship, in her native Mexico, by beating Suzann Pettersen by one. A year ago, Ochoa won the tournament by 11 strokes.
Ochoa's performance was further proof why she's the best in the women's game. She played the final 36 holes with a game Pettersen, who is ranked fifth in the world ' after playing the first two rounds alongside No. 4 Paula Creamer. She opened in 65-65 (on the par-73 course) to dust Creamer (72-67) and then shot 69-69 over the weekend to edge Pettersen (67-68).
FLU SEASON: The LPGA carried on with their tournament despite an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, particularly in the capital of Mexico City, less than 200 miles from the tournament site in Morelia.
With word as early as Friday that this particular strain could reach 'pandemic potential,' according to the World Health Organization, I would have promptly signed an incorrect scorecard and headed home to see my local physician.
TO THE VICTOR, THE SPOILS: But hopefully not spoiled oysters ... Jerry Kelly won on the PGA Tour for the first time in seven years, first blowing an overnight three-stroke lead and then rallying to capture the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Kelly is one of those guys who is easy to like ... even if he doesn't always seem to like himself. Admittedly, Kelly has been too hard on himself over the years, which is one reason he went 200 Tour events without a title. He almost had to endure another disappointment, but did just enough to come away with the victory. Of course, he did have a little help down the stretch ...
BUSTED: Charles Howell III birdied six of his first 11 holes Sunday and led by two shots midway through the back nine at the Zurich. He then bogeyed two of his final four holes and parred the par-5 18th to finish runner-up to Kelly.
In nine seasons on the PGA Tour, Howell has two victories, one top-10 in a major and no Ryder Cup appearances. In honor of this past week's NFL draft those numbers would have to label him as a bust. Howell was a very accomplished amateur and highly thought of coming out of college. Were he a football player, given his potential, he might have been a No. 1 pick back in 2000, when he turned professional. But he has not lived up to the hype. Fortunately, he plays golf instead of football, and while he turns 30 this June, there is plenty of time to alter people's opinion regarding his career.
ON THE REBOUND: Kenny Perry, competing in his first event since blowing a two-shot lead with two to play at the Masters, tied for 59th in New Orleans.
Perry was in a tie for 21st place after three rounds, but closed in 78. Hard to blame him. Perry said competing this past week, following his heart-breaking playoff loss at Augusta, was the toughest thing he's ever had to do on a golf course. It's hard to imagine he'll be able to shake that memory any time soon ' if ever.
NO NEED TO WORRY: Danny Lee, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, missed the cut in his professional debut at the Zurich Classic. The 18-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander shot 76-75 to tie for 145th among the 156 competitors.
Lee has seven sponsor's exemptions to earn the equivalent of 125th on this year's money list to avoid Q-School. He may not have made anything this past week, but thanks to his victory earlier in the year on the European Tour, he has a spot in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where there is no cut. He also has multi-million dollar deals with IMG and Callaway, as well as a two-year exemption in Europe. We don't think he'll dwell on his missed cut in New Orleans.
HALL OPENS DOORS ... WIDE: Lanny Wadkins was announced as the newest member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Wadkins won 21 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1977 PGA Championship at Pebble Beach. He was also a member of eight Ryder Cup teams.
Wadkins waited a long time to be awarded this honor. And he should have had to wait longer. He received 61 percent of the vote, when 65 is needed for election. However, Wadkins got in under a provision that if no one receives the minimum vote, the player with the highest percentage (provided it is over 50 percent) gets elected. Simply put: that's ridiculous. It's how Vijay Singh made the Hall a few years back. Like Singh, Wadkins is Hall worthy. But if 65 is the requisite number, and you don't reach it, you shouldn't be allowed in. It's nothing against them; it's a flawed system.
JUMP FOR JOY ... AND VICTORY: Tom Lehman, competing in his first event on the Champions Tour, teamed with good friend Bernhard Langer to win the Liberty Mututal Legends of Golf. Langer made a 45-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole as the two ultimately defeated Jeff Sluman and Craig Stadler on the second extra hole.
Good news for the senior circuit, as Lehman said he plans to split time between their tour and the regular tour this year and then concentrate on the 50-and-over set in 2010. In order for this tour to remain relevant in the slightest, it needs popular PGA Tour players like Lehman to play full time once they crack the half-century mark.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Thongchai Jaidee won the European Tour's Ballantine's Championship. ... Defending Zurich champion Andres Romero was disqualified after signing an incorrect scorecard. ... Zurich Financial signed on to continue their sponsorship of the PGA Tour's New Orleans stop through 2014. ... Meanwhile, the LPGA said the Corning Classic will end after this year's event in May.
This is Jaidee's second win of the season. He's currently eighth on the tour's Race to Dubai standing. ... Romero would have easily missed the cut anyway. ... If Zurich didn't step up, I would have ' assuming the Tour takes government cheese as payment for a sponsor's fee. ... It's a shame to lose that LPGA stop. The 31-year-old event is the longest running tournament on the LPGA with the same sponsor at the same venue.